Property owners are responsible for inspecting and maintaining the vast majority sidewalks in New York (since the city shifted liability in 2003). But the city itself may still be on the hook for a large number of injuries caused by sidewalk accidents in New York. That’s because the New York is still liable for repairing and maintaining sidewalks adjacent to public buildings, green spaces (such as parks or city office buildings) and multiple dwelling less than four families.
With just $20 million allotted every year for repairs on a significant portion of nearly 12,000 miles of sidewalk (and the average repair costing between $50 and $90 per square foot) that money doesn’t stretch far.
The city does inspect some sidewalks but the vast majority of defects (holes, uneven pavers, cracked cement) come to its attention through 311 complaints. These complaints result in inspections and those inspections determine what action is taken.
· If the sidewalk is adjacent to privately-owned property (except a one- two- or three-family dwelling) the owner is given 45 days to fix the problem. If they fail to do so, the city adds the project to their own growing list and bills the property owner when work is complete.
· If the sidewalk is the city’s responsibility, the severity of defect is graded on a scale of 1 to 100. Under the Parks Department’s Trees and Sidewalks Repair Program the projects are then completed in order of severity.
The city is simply overwhelmed with repairs. In 2016 there are 590 planned repairs in Queens alone. This creates a tremendously dangerous opportunity for New Yorkers to slip and fall long before repairs are made.
Slip and fall sidewalk accidents in New York can result in serious injuries such as fractures or torn cartilage that take weeks or months to heal. If you’ve been injured, contact an experienced New York City sidewalk accident lawyer to get the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering and lost time from work. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 today.